From the Collections of Harvard College Library, Events and Exhibitions 2015
September 18-October 30, 2015
Dante at Harvard: An Exhibition Commemorating the 750th Anniversary of the Poet’s Birth
Born in Florence in 1265, Dante Alighieri experienced a rebirth in America during the nineteenth century thanks to the passionate and creative interests of successive generations of Harvard scholars and students. Serious reading, collecting, and teaching of Dante began with George Ticknor, who was appointed as Harvard’s first professor of belles-lettres in 1817. Ticknor was followed in turn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Charles Eliot Norton, each of whom made notable contributions to Dante scholarship. They gathered at Longfellow’s home for readings, which formed the basis of the celebrated Dante Club, and by the 1880s their shared interest led to the creation of the Dante Society.
Curated by former Houghton Library fellow Christian Dupont, the exhibition documents Harvard’s longstanding engagement with Dante using unique materials drawn from Houghton Library and the Harvard University Archives.
September 21-December 19, 2015
The World of Walter Crane
The English artist Walter Crane (1845-1915) is best known for the colorful illustrations he created for a series of toy books – small, inexpensive books for children – that retold fairy tales or nursery rhymes or taught counting or the letters of the alphabet. He was also a prolific illustrator of other kinds of work, both texts of his own composition and works by others. In addition he painted in watercolor and oil, designed wallpapers, stained glass, and ceramics, and published books on the principles of design and decoration. In executing commissions for interior decoration he sometimes worked with his friends Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, and he contributed the illustrations for one book printed at Morris’s Kelmscott Press. A practitioner and supporter of the Arts and Crafts Movement, he shared Morris’s socialist views on the nature of English society and the role that art and handicraft should play in society.
The exhibition explores these various aspects of Crane’s career using materials drawn from the Caroline Miller Parker Collection of Works by Walter Crane at Houghton Library. This collection, one of the largest and most important collections of works by Crane, includes not only his published works, but also paintings, manuscripts, sketchbooks, and large numbers of preparatory drawings for illustration. The collection, formed by Mrs. Parker, was given to Harvard by her husband. Augustin H. Parker (Harvard College, Class of 1897), who also endowed the Caroline Miller Parker Collection Fund that enables the library to continue acquiring works by or associated with Crane.
Please join us for an exhibition opening reception on September 30 at 6:30 p.m.
June 16 – October 15, 2015
The Ancestry of the Mother Road: Mapping Route 66
Route 66 looms large in American culture. In song and story, the mother road carries us to the promise of a better life. Traveling Route 66 is still the ultimate road trip even now as we pick our way along a road disrupted by the modern, looking for remnants of an earlier path. Route 66 was years in the making as Americans sought the best path from the East to the West, and is being remade even today, as it continues to hold a special place in the imagination of travelers and wanderers of all kinds. Railroad scouts and surveyors, early auto adventurers, dust bowl migrants, suburban road-tripping families, all following their own paths, but all on the same road.
February 18 – December 31, 2015
Occupied Cuba, 1898-1902: Photographs from the Theodore Roosevelt Collection
The years between the end of the Cuban War of Independence in 1898, facilitated by United States involvement as part of the Spanish-American War, and the proclamation of the Cuban Republic in 1902, were a time of much change and transition in Cuba. After the last of the Spanish troops left Cuba in 1898, the United States took over the governance of Cuba. Occupied Cuba brings together some documentary photographs of this time gathered from Harvard’s Theodore Roosevelt Collection.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. Please contact the curator with any questions.
March 10, 2015 – May 7, 2016
Annual International Photo Contest
Photos taken by Harvard students who have studied, worked, interned, or done research abroad during the past year are on exhibit. For more information on the contest, see the photo contest page.
Level B, first and third floor display cases,
Lamont Library (Hours)
For details contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455
May 28, 2015 – May 7, 2016
2015 Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art
The Philip Hofer prize is awarded each year to a student at Harvard whose collection of books or works of art best exemplifies the traditions of breadth, coherence, and imagination represented by Philip Hofer, A.B. '21, L.H.D. '67, founder and first Curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts in the Houghton Library and Secretary of the Fogg Art Museum. The prize, which is to encourage student interest in collecting, was established in 1987 by Melvin R. Seiden, A.B. '52, L.L.B. '55. Students competing for the prize submit an annotated list or bibliography and an essay describing the scope, contents, and goal of the collection. On exhibition are samples of this year’s first prize winning collection, Formalists! Musical Scores of Suppressed Soviet Composers, submitted by Alexander P. Ioffreda, Harvard College, Class of 2015.
May 28, 2015 – May 7, 2016
2015 Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize
Established in 1977, the Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting recognizes and encourages book collecting by undergraduates at Harvard. Students competing for the annual prize submit an annotated bibliography and an essay on their collecting efforts, the influence of mentors, the experience of searching for, organizing and caring for items, and the future direction of the collection. On display are samplings of the collections of this year's prize-winning entries, along with personal commentary.
There are no lectures scheduled at this time. Please check back.
Exhibition includes Gerard Mercator's terrestrial (1541) and celestial (1551) globes that reflect new discoveries in world geography and cosmography as well as new techniques in charting, printing, and globe making. Only 22 matched pairs survive, Harvard's being the only matched pair in America.
- Such a curious dream! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at 150
- In Africa it is another story: Looking back on Italian Colonialism
- "Music, First and Last": Scores from the Sir Georg Solti Archive
- Boston's Crusade Against Slavery
- A History of Medieval Christian Preaching as Seen in the Manuscripts of Houghton Library
- Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: Twenty Years That Changed the World of Art
- "I Shall Ever Be Your Dearest Love": John Keats and Fanny Brawne
- "Let Satire Be My Song": Byron's English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers
- The Adventures of Thackeray In His Way Through the World: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Family
- Going for Baroque: The Iconography of the Ornamental Map
- Life is in the Transitions: William James, 1842-1910
- Books in Books: Reflections on Reading and Writing in the Middle Ages
- Harvard's Lincoln
- A Monument More Durable Than Brass: The Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson
- History of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Collection
- Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200